Double Door, Chicago
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Koop’s third full-length, Koop Islands (Atlantic), finds the Stockholm-based duo providing a soundtrack to a week-long vacation onboard the “Love Boat.”
The disc’s 11 tracks conjure images of shuffleboard and semi-formal cocktail parties. “Come To Me” riffs on Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood” with swelling horns and Yukimi Nagano’s sweet vocals, while “Forces . . . Darling” jumps, jives, and wails to Earl Zinger’s distinguished crooning. Airy “Koop Island Blues” seems a better fit for the whimsical Parisian film Amelie than Pirates Of The Caribbean, though the band swears the sounds native to the rum islands figured prominently in the making of this record. Xylophone, clarinet, flute and swirling, brushing drums add a breezy air to “I See A Different You” and “Strange You.”
Despite appearances, the male duo (with a penchant for makeup and pearls) of Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson sample most of the lush orchestral sounds emitting from these lovely tunes. Instead of employing drum, string, and horn sections, the duo painstakingly pieces together bits of songs to create this symphonic mirage. The lads even let others take the mic, including Ane Brun, Rob Gallagher, and Mikael Sundin. The end result is a detached affair, somewhat void of the duo’s personality, yet intoxicatingly alluring. Unlike anything their contemporaries are putting forth, Koop capitalizes on a nostalgic vibe, updated for today’s sensibilities, allowing listeners to reminisce fondly about “I Dream Of Jeannie” and other sitcoms Fox showed in reruns.
Mocean Worker opens.
— Janine Schaults